Namaste Technologies Inc (CVE:N) (OTCMKTS:NXTTF) (FRA:M5BQ) CEO Sean Dollinger discusses the evolution of the company – starting as an online U.S. vape vendor and becoming one of the largest global consumer cannabis retailers soon to be listed on the NASDAQ stock market. The CEO describes their online telemedicine app, Namaste MD, where patients can connect with nurse practitioners and receive cannabis products delivered to their door. He also discusses future Namaste developments using AI and machine learning portals inside the cannabis space.
James West: Hey, welcome back to Midas Letter Live. My guest this segment is Sean Dollinger, President and CEO of Namaste Technologies. Sean, welcome back.
Sean Dollinger: Thank you very much for having us.
James West: Sean, your company never ceases to surprise me, and again you’ve done it: you’re moving to the NASDAQ. Like, that’s incredible.
Sean Dollinger: Yeah, it’s a great accomplishment. We went ahead and announced it earlier in the week. We’ve met all the criteria as you know; we have our live show once a week on Namaste 420.
James West: I’ve watched it.
Sean Dollinger: And, you know, on there, we went ahead a couple months back and said we’d do everything in our power to get qualified for it. The one thing that we left up to our shareholders and investors, jokingly, was the share price, you know? There’s been a lot of talk these days on a consolidation, because that’s all that’s missing for us to be able to move up to the NASDAQ.
James West: Interesting. Okay, so then what, I mean, your share price requires a consolidation to go to NASDAQ, but what other compelling knowledge is there to be on NASDAQ?
Sean Dollinger: So we believe that it opens up a whole new world of institutions. For example, a lot of institutions won’t do OTCQB. Right now, Namaste is loved by its shareholders and investors. We love it. Like, the feedback we get…
James West: You have more viewers on your videos every Wednesday than we have on our show every day, so it’s like, yes, they obviously love you.
Sean Dollinger: It’s amazing how engaged, and it feels so incredible, you know? But at the same time, for our shareholders and investors, what we’ve worked so hard for is building this amazing company. The most exciting company out there, in our opinion, right? Everybody’s our partners in probably the most exciting space out there.
James West: Right. And didn’t you start as a US online vape vendor?
Sean Dollinger: Originally, yes, and then we looked for opportunities globally for the FX conversion to really be able to take advantage of global markets. And that’s what allowed us to become the largest business to consumer vaporizer company in the world.
James West: Interesting. So what, exactly, is your availability of products in the United States at this point?
Sean Dollinger: So in the US we’ve completely divested all of our assets, and we’ve become so much more. So what happens is, when companies grow, right, you start out as this vaporizer company or a vaporizer manufacturer, and that’s great, but we want people to really understand we’re your everything cannabis store. You want vaporizers, you want CBD, you want cannabis…
James West: Wow, everything. I like that.
Sean Dollinger: Everything.
James West: The Amazon of cannabis?
Sean Dollinger: People refer to us as Namazon.
James West: Namazon! Whoa, yeah, I can see it. Huh, that’s interesting. Well, so then, if you’ve divested everything in the US, how are you going to sort of take advantage of that opportunity when the time comes?
Sean Dollinger: Yeah, so right now we are the largest, for example, in the UK, Australia…we control 90 percent of site traffic in Australia for our division.
James West: Really? Wow.
Sean Dollinger: So basically, when we start introducing cannabis and CBD, so in Canada, we saw there was a problem with people going out and getting their medical license. You need to leave your house, you need to go see a doctor, maybe there’s a line, maybe they cancel your appointment, maybe you don’t get approved. We developed Namaste MD, it’s the first telemedicine app ever approved in the Apple Store for cannabis in Canada, and within 10 minutes you could go ahead, get on, get connected to a nurse practitioner, and then complete your shopping experience in Canada and get it delivered to your doorstep within 4 hours.
James West: Whoa, that is scary. I mean, it’s still not quite as quick as the illegal dispensaries, but it’s getting there! In your opinion, the legalization in Canada for rec purposes in October, do you see that finally taking a big impactful bite out of the illicit market, as it’s going to be called?
Sean Dollinger: You would think that the government needs to do that. We’ve spent millions of dollars, right, on legality, going through the process, buying product the way they require it…how could they not? It wouldn’t do justice.
James West: Right, right. So in California right now, the state has started enforcement of their very tough pesticide rules, and such a large number of California growers can’t comply with the pesticide standards that the supply and variety of cannabis in all the dispensaries in California is under a huge squeeze. So there’s only, like 25 percent of MedMen’s normal product line is actually available right now. Do you think that’s something that is at risk of happening in the Canadian market at all?
Sean Dollinger: So I think because Canada took the responsible steps of making it Federally legal across Canada, and set this framework that we’ve now been in, right, for many years – you would know better than I on the exact number of years, but –
James West: I doubt it.
Sean Dollinger: Well, we’ve started off with a great foundation. And any business, you need to start with a great foundation, and I think Health Canada has done it, and I think that they’re scaling properly. And from our communication and our talks with them, we really believe that we shouldn’t see that problem.
James West: Cool. So what is on the horizon for Namaste? How are you going to keep surprising us?
Sean Dollinger: Boy, that’s a big one. So we’re obviously working extremely hard on all new technology through our AI and machine learning portals, to keep going ahead with that. But even on our show, for example, we went ahead and we were the first ones ever, as far as everybody who I speak with, where we came up with this volunteer pledge from all of our –
James West: That sounds interesting, tell us about that.
Sean Dollinger: So I was on one of our live shows and we were under a short attack, and you know, I think there was an article not too long ago, we’ve been in the Globe & Mail on shorting in the cannabis space. So we decided to take this pledge against that, and I said, Hey: I have 20 million freely traded shares, I’m the largest shareholder. I’m going ahead and I’m not selling.
Then Cory, who you’ve met, he turns to the camera and says, “7 million.”
48 hours later, we had 50 percent of our flow pledge not to, and then about a week later, we said, and we made a commitment to everybody that after the 90 days we’d have a big pledge party, where everybody would come together and celebrate, basically, sticking together.
James West: Right, that’s interesting. That’s great! So, well, that’s incredible, but what else is going to happen for Namaste on sort of the developmental timeline that we can look forward to?
Sean Dollinger: So, we’re really, really close to finally getting our sales license, which everybody needs to understand it’s the first time that a company has really gone about it the way we have, where we’re not a cultivator. We’re going ahead and getting our sales license, so I think it’s really important for you to watch out for that. And then I think that it’s going to be great to start launching some sites that could appeal to the rec space as well, because as we’re seeing, there are certain provinces that are going to be allowing rec to be sold online.
James West: Interesting. Do you think it’s just a matter of time till all of Canada sort of loosens up and makes it easier to get cannabis? I mean, they’ve got to compete with these guys in the illicit market who will deliver a bag in, you know, an hour.
Sean Dollinger: I think on that front, though, on the medical side where we’re really remaining focused with the tools like Namaste MD to allow the shopping experience to be with ease, even on the alcohol front, we still see – and alcohol has been around a long time – that it’s still province by province. On the medical side of things, we’re able to remove those boundaries. So Namaste, due to being an online portal and wanting to offer all Canadians equal opportunity to all cannabis, through our platform and through the tools – that’s what makes us different. We’ll be able to go ahead and offer everybody’s product on our platform, not just a single provider.
James West: Wow, fantastic. All right, tell you what, Sean: let’s leave it there. We’ll come back to you soon. Thanks so much for the update.
Sean Dollinger: Hey, thank you very much for having us on.
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